OAKLAND – The Warriors on Tuesday night opened the new season as they finished the old, by beating up a wounded opponent.
And Stephen Curry was the primary sadist, pouring in 40 points to lead the defending champs to a 111-95 win over the New Orleans Pelicans before an ecstatic sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.
Three other Warriors scored in double figures, as Festus Ezeli put in 13 points, Andrew Bogut had 12 – before leaving with a cut over his right eye – and Draymond Green finished with 10.
Curry also led the Warriors in assists, with seven, while Harrison Barnes grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
The Warriors, feeling no negative after-effects from their pregame championship ceremony, didn’t shoot particularly well after the first quarter but walloped the Pelicans in pretty much every other category, most notably rebounds (55-32).
New Orleans star Anthony Davis, hounded all game by a brigade of Warriors led by Green, finished with a team-high 18 points but shot only 4-of-20.
That’s an easy one: Curry.
Curry lit up the Pelicans with 24 points in the first quarter, two off his personal best for an opening quarter. His first quarter line: 24 points (9-of-13 shooting, 4-of-7 from beyond the arc), two assists and one steal.
Trailing 44-43 with 7:31 left in the half, the Warriors reeled off a 24-5 run spanning the second and third quarters to go up 67-49 with 10:07 left in the third.
The Warriors raised the lead as high as 23 (98-73, 11:03 left) and the Pelicans never got closer than 11 the rest of the game.
Warriors: C Andrew Bogut (laceration over R eye) left the game in the third quarter and did not return.
F Kevon Looney (hip surgery), listed as out, will remain so indefinitely.
Pelicans: C Omer Asik (R calf strain), F Luke Babbitt (L hamstring strain), G Norris Cole (L ankle sprain), G Tyreke Evans (R knee surgery), G Jrue Holiday (rest) and F Quincy Pondexter (L knee surgery) were listed as out.
The Warriors go on a two-game weekend road trip, beginning Friday night in Houston against the Rockets.